I was walking through Stockwell today when I saw a ghost sign that’s been fairly recently repainted. If you look closely you can just see a faint trace of the old sign showing through. I’ve done a couple of screen grabs from Google Street View which shows how the sign used to look about a year ago.
Sean O’Shea has produced an iPhone app of all of the English Heritage London Blue Plaques using the data that I collated for my Blue Plaques map. The app is free, so no reason not to download it now and start looking round London in a different way.
There are over 850 EH blue plaques, concentrated mainly in central London, but some of them go out as far as Harrow or Bexley.
A version of the app optimised for iPad will be following soon as the 1.1 upgrade, and if the app proves popular we are hoping that there will be an Android version as well.
The app has its own Twitter feed, so you can check for news and updates there. And I’ll be blogging about any future news if you want to follow here.
Edit: 7 Feb 2015
There’s now an Android version of the app as well.
I’ve just found out that I’ve had one of my photos accepted for the 2014 Ghostsigns Calendar. Very chuffed! Mind you, I only just made it in 12th place.
In case you’re wondering a chaudronnerie and a serrurerie is a boilermaker and a locksmith, selling new and used boilers, stills and piping.
I went to Constantine Bay yesterday morning and in between the heavy showers and gusting winds I managed to take a few nice photos. I was particularly pleased with this one – and yes, I thought it would work well in black & white as I was taking it.
Click on the photo to see some more of the photos on my Flickr feed.
The myriad choices of his fate
Set themselves out upon a plate
For him to choose
What had he to lose
Not a ghost bloodied country
All covered with sleep
Where the black angel did weep
Not an old city street in the east
Gone to choose
And wandering’s brother
Walked on through the night
With his hair in his face
On a long splintered cut from the knife
of G T
The rally man’s patter ran on through the dawn
Until we said so long
To his skull
Shining brightly red-rimmed and
Red-lined with the time
Infused with the choice of the mind
On ice skates scraping chunks
From the bells
Cut mouth bleeding razor’s
Forgetting the pain
Antiseptic remains cool goodbye
So you fly
To the cosy brown snow of the east
Gone to choose
Sacrificials remains make it hard to forget
Where you come from
The stools of your eyes
Serve to realize fame
And roverman’s refrain of the sacrilege recluse
For the loss of a horse
Went the bowels and a tail of a rat
choose to go
And if epiphany’s terror reduced you to shame
Have your head bobbed and weaved
Choose a side
to be on
If the stone glances off
Split didactics in two
Leave the colours of the mouse trails
Don’t scream, try between
If you choose, if you choose, try to lose
For the loss of remain come and start
Start the game
i chi chi
chi chi i
Chi chi chi
ka ta koh
Choose to choose
Choose to choose, choose to go
RIP Lou Reed (1942-2013)
I’ve just come back from an amazing trip to Albi in south-west France. We stayed in a really nice little hotel called La Tour Sainte-Cécile about 200m from the cathedral. We were really lucky and got upgraded from a single room to a suite and the owner (a very nice man called Bertrand) went out of his way to make us feel at home.
Albi is a truly amazing city with many fabulous buildings, but the highlight is the cathedral which was built by the Cathars starting in 1282 and ending over 100 years later. Originally the building had just a single nave but in the late 15th century, after the persecution of the Cathars was ended, an elaborate rood screen, choir and chancel was added, along with a massive and elaborate porch at the south entrance. Either side of the arch into the tower is a large mural depicting the Last Judgement dating from about 1500. The rest of walls and ceiling were painted just a few years later by artists from the Emilia region of Italy with the most elaborate series of frescoes.
You can see a lot more photos of Albi, some of the local bastide towns and the Millau viaduct on my Flickr account.
About 100 yards north of Oxford Street in London lies one of the best examples of Victorian Gothic architecture you’ll ever see. It would be easy to miss this church, even though it has one of the highest spires of any church in London. If you don’t look up and see the spire when you stand outside, you could walk straight past. All Saints church is set back from Margaret Street in a small courtyard. Once inside, a world of beauty opens before you.
It was designed by architect William Butterfield in 1850 and completed by 1859. Inside, the walls are covered in spectacular tiled murals. Designed by Butterfield, they were painted by Alexander Gibbs and manufactured by Henry Poole and Sons. The floor tiles are a bold geometric design by Minton. The chancel vault is a deep blue field of stars and the reredos by William Dyce (later copied and replaced by Ninian Comper in the early 1900s when the original had became blackened by the London air) depicts the life of Christ ending at the vault with Christ in Majesty.
If you seek a few moments of peace from the hustle and bustle of London you should seek out All Saints and step inside.
You can see a 360° panorama tour of the church in the main part of my website.
Update – 1/11/2013: All Saints Margaret Street have added the 360° panorama tour to their website.
I’ve had two new websites ‘go live’ this week. One for Weaverbird, “an international independent executive search consultancy with an exclusive focus on finding talented digital and technology leaders”. And the other for Lisa Carter, a chartered clinical psychologist. Neither site is my design – I’ve worked with two different design agencies on these projects.
The Weaverbird site uses HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery, while the Lisa Carter site is based on WordPress and uses a child theme based on picochic. The theme is responsive, but it took quite a lot of tweaking to get all the responsive levels looking good with the new design.
ITV’s ‘Daybreak’ featured some of my photos of the church of St Magnus the Martyr this morning. They had a short item on the local London news section mentioning the 60th birthday of the National Churches Trust. They’ve created a new website – The UK’s Favourite Churches – to mark the occasion. Boris Johnson has named St Magnus as his favourite church in London.
No payment of course, but at least I got an on-screen credit.